A survey, released yesterday, shows that 67 per cent now say there is solid evidence that the earth's average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades.
The poll revealed sharp divides along party lines, but significantly growing proportions of Democrats and Republicans accept the scientific consensus on climate change.
"Fully 85 per cent of Democrats
say there is solid evidence that the average temperature has been getting warmer, up from 77 per cent last year and similar to levels in 2007 and 2008," the poll findings state.
"Nearly half of Republicans
(48 per cent) say there is solid evidence of warming, compared with 43 per cent last year and 35 per cent in 2009... A majority of independents (65 per cent) say there is solid evidence of warming; that is up from 53 per cent in 2009 and lower than from 2006 to 2008."
Significantly, nearly two-thirds of Americans now regard climate change as a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem, with 56 per cent of Democrats describing it as a "very serious" problem. In contrast, 55 per cent of Republicans maintain global warming is either "not too serious a problem" or "not a problem at all".
The survey results largely echo a recent poll from Yale and George Mason Universities, which confirmed that clear majorities of Americans now regard climate change as a significant issue, with large numbers of undecided voters wanting to see more commitments from government on how to tackle rising temperatures.
US green groups have seized on the poll results and are currently campaigning for a question on climate change to be included in one of the two remaining presidential debates in an attempt to force the candidates to engage with an issue that has been largely sidelined and only addressed as a proxy to the intense debates on energy policy